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'What's racist about that?' Nicosia family rebuts claims of racism at East Ave. Juneteenth party

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Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
August 25, 2022

The hosts of an East Ave. party at the center of a city investigation rebutted claims that the social gathering was racist – saying Tuesday that discriminatory tropes present at the party were a mere coincidence, or were out of convenience.

But at the same press conference, one of the hosts – Mary Znidarsic-Nicosia – admitted to authoring a parody Twitter account that shared racist memes and derogatory language toward people of color – discovered by online sleuths during the fallout from the city’s investigation.

Nicholas Nicosia and Mary Znidarsic-Nicosia said their reputations were tarnished and their family is facing threats of violence following a notice of claim filed against the city of Rochester by a Black firefighter who claimed his supervisor took him to a party at the couple’s residence while on duty July 7. There, he said he encountered racist tropes like fried chicken, bottles of cognac, and flags mocking Juneteenth – a federal holiday celebrating the emancipation of slavery.

An attorney for the couple said the party was political, not racist, and was meant to be a “liberal smashing” held by conservatives.

“There’s gross exaggeration and outright deception taking place,” attorney Corey Hogan said. “There is absolutely no racism anywhere.”

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